Fa b 14!
A good motor glider offers the best of both worlds, and the AS-K14 is not just a good ’un but arguably one of the finest ever made
As the prop slows to a stop one of the great attractions of flying motorgliders manifests itself. The transition from powered to gliding flight is almost as shocking as it is sensuous. The contrast is just so vivid, but before I can really revel in the near silence of soaring flight there are some cockpit chores to take care of. A brief stab of the starter button swings the prop horizontal, swap hands on the stick then a deft pull and twist of the T-handle sprouting from the starboard side of the panel feathers the prop. Swap hands again and set the throttle and choke ready to start. Tweak the trim and settle swiftly into the core of the thermal. As the variometer needle swings confidently up towards six and the altimeter’s ‘hundreds’ pointer starts rotating like a second hand I settle back in my seat with a smug smile.
I really like soaring. I like the cerebral challenge of defying gravity by using my intellect as the engine and the atmosphere as
the fuel. I’m less enamored with waiting around to be launched, and landing out can be a right pain, hence the attraction of motor gliders. And the subject of this month’s flight test is surely one of the finest ever made. Descended from the classic Schleicher AS-K6 (known simply as the K6) the AS-K14 has long been on my ‘wish list’. Why? Well, having owned shares in a couple of K6s (the E model in particular still being one of the sweetest handling flying machines I’ve ever flown) and having always enjoyed motorgliding, the concept of a self-launching K6 really appealed. Consequently, I was both pleased and flattered when Peter Andrews asked if I’d be interested in flying his.
Owner Peter Andrews